Les Bowen reported today that the Eagles have been in touch with Drew Rosenhaus, the agent for Chiefs RT Eric Winston. The Chiefs recently cut Winston. I initially doubted whether the Eagles should have interest. Winston will turn 30 in the upcoming season. Les indicates the team does in fact have some interest in Winston.
Winston was a stud RT for the Texans for several years. He is tough and durable. He has started all 16 games each of the last 6 seasons. That’s really impressive. Winston is also known as a very high character guy. The guy just suffered through a miserable 2-14 season in KC, but went on Twitter to thank the team and fans for a great year. Even if he doesn’t mean it, you like the fact he’s smart enough to realize the value in saying it.
I didn’t pay any attention to Winston this year in KC. So when Les reported the Eagles interest, I decided to watch a couple of games. I intentionally chose games in the early to middle part of the year. I could see where a veteran might get sloppy late in a 2-14 year.
I watched Winston vs OAK and SD. I was not impressed.
He is a smart, veteran player. I only noted one play where he did something dumb. There was a defender over the RG and then one way to Winston’s outside. For some reason, Winston looked to the inside at the snap. He then turned back outside as the wide defender ran by him. The defender hit the QB and knocked the ball loose. You always secure the inside first, but the RG appeared to cleanly have that guy so Winston should have focused on the outside rusher, who had no one to account for him except Winston.
Winston is good on run plays where he can fire off the ball and get upfield. He is an aggressive run blocker and still shows a bit of a nasty streak.
I wasn’t as impressed with Winston’s blocking at the LOS. He doesn’t use his hands well. You don’t expect an OL to get his hands cleanly on defenders on every play, but Winston really struggled to do it with any regularity. He would make initial contact, but then wasn’t able to sustain blocks. He would wall off the DE on a backside run with his shoulder, but the defender would be able to get by him.
Pass protection was an issue. Winston was consistently jacked-back by power rushers. He would be able to anchor eventually, but consistently gave too much ground. I saw him get beat to the inside in both games. I saw speed rushers get by him. Winston wasn’t getting beaten so badly that he was a detriment to the offense, but he simply wasn’t winning the 1-on-1 battles enough.
Winston is an adequate starter, but a descending player. He’s not going to get any better than what he is. There is a reason KC cut him, after all.
I would prefer the Eagles pass on him. I’d rather have Dennis Kelly play RT. He’s not as good as Winston right now, but he has upside and this is the year to let guys like Kelly learn.
I would be open to signing Winston to a 1-year deal and having him compete for the RG/RT spots. Honestly, having him and Danny Watkins fight for the RG role would be okay with me. Then Herremans and Kelly would be the guys at RT.
I don’t have interest in signing Winston to a 2 or 3-year deal and plugging him in as a starter anywhere on the OL. Competition? Okay. Insurance policy? Okay. I just don’t think he’s a guy we should look at as a solution.
It is possible that Roseman simply made the call to find out what Winston’s situation is. Can’t hurt to ask if he’s looking for a multi-year deal or open to a 1-year contract. You also get an idea of his price range.
We’ll see what happens.
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In the interest of fairness, I’ll share some opinions from other sources. Apparently PFF had him rated 9th. I just don’t know if that is overall OTs or just among RTs. I respect the work those guys do, but often find they see things differently than me.
Jimmy Bama put up a post on Winston that was more favorable. He watched a different game so that is interesting.